How To Persevere When You Don’t Want To


In the apostle Peter’s second letter to the early Christians, he lists five qualities that we should try to evidence in our lives: he urges us to add to our “faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance” (2 Peter 1:5, 6 NKJV).

Perseverance—that’s a word we don’t use often. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says that perseverance is the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.[1] No wonder we don’t talk much about perseverance, because, let’s face it, we aren’t automatically drawn to do jobs that are difficult. But my favorite definition of perseverance is one given by Pastor David Jeremiah: he says perseverance is continuing to do what you don’t want to do.[2]

We’re usually full of enthusiasm when we start a project—perhaps some kind of handicraft that we want to give to a friend. Or possibly you started a small group Bible study that has gotten bogged down. Or maybe you began writing a letter of appreciation for a kindness someone did for you but you never quite finished it.

One time I started writing a book, but in a few weeks I lost interest. At that exact time, a verse in the Bible came to my attention; in fact, it nearly nearly jumped off the page as I read it. The verse says, “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it” (2 Corinthians 8:11 NIV). Okay, Lord, I get the point.

Synonyms for perseverance include tenacity, determination, stick-to-itiveness, backbone and grit. Whatever you call it, let’s ask God to help us persevere—to finish what we start—for His glory.


[1] “Perseverance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed June 12,2021.

[2] David Jeremiah, “Turning Point” television program aired September 15, 2019.